JACKSONVILLE -- Winless this season, the Jacksonville Jaguars are now batting .500 in getting their playmakers back -- or expect to be by Sunday.
They thought tight end Marcedes Lewis was going to return from a strained left calf last Sunday, but he tweaked it again on the first play and left after the second play.
Now Jaguars are scheduled to get wide receiver Justin Blackmon back this Sunday in St. Louis after he missed the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The Jags missed Lewis because he is a force in the running game as a blocker and in the passing game as a target. Those two plays were the only action that Lewis has seen since the first preseason game. He strained the calf in the warm-ups for the second preseason game and it has bothered him since.
Lewis said, "I felt it on the first play of the game and then the second play of the game, I felt it worse. It wasn't a pop but more like somebody ripped a cord."
Of his calf felt Monday, he said, "It's sore. It's tender, swollen. Typically what you'd expect after a tweak. Going to have to get back after it and rest it a little more than we did before. I rested it for four, five days and then starting getting the work. It hasn't had a chance to really rest. Part of it is me wanting to come back and contribute and get back on the field right away. I guess it's something that might take a little longer."
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are looking forward to the return of Blackmon, who will help their passing game.
Said coach Gus Bradley: "He's done tremendous these last four weeks. I think before I met with him through this whole thing, I said the biggest thing I wanted to see from him was to compete. I do really like what he brings. I like his traits and how important football is to him. We've just got to coach him up more."
The Jaguars are hoping that Blackmon's return will also help Cecil Shorts, who has struggled at times being the No. 1 receiver.
The Jaguars hope that Shorts will have an easier time when defenses also have to scheme to stop Blackmon although he may be rusty after having a month off.